Non Religious Billboard Brings Controversy To Nashville - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Non Religious Billboard Brings Controversy To Nashville

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A new Nashville organization classifies itself as non-religious, but the group's billboard has stirred up a religious debate. The organization behind the billboard is called Secular Life.

Secular Life is a group of about 340 people who consider themselves part of the non-religious community. On Sunday, they began advertising on a billboard in Green Hills, and already Secular Life is getting a lot of attention.

"It just absolutely wrong place, wrong town, wrong timing," said Green Hills resident Donnie Cude.

Something about the phrase "Not Religious, You're not alone", doesn't sit well with Cude.

"It's a slap in the face to the Nashvillians and the people who have a strong foundation and do so much good for this town," said Cude.   

A non-religious group called Secular Life is behind the message. Founder Thaddeus Schwartz said the billboard is not meant to disrespect anyone or any faith.

"It simply is a statement that says ‘hey, you know if you find yourself to be non-religious you're not alone,'" said Schwartz.

Schwartz said one who is religious might pray, socialize and conduct business with church members. The non-religious have a similar option.

"Secular Life says here's where you can go. You can go to network that is positive. We do stuff for the community, good will, this sort of thing. It's a place to plug in," said Schwartz.

He said it's not a place to bash the Bible.

"This is America and we embrace those people, and would hope that our society would get to the point that we can all embrace each other regardless whether we share the minutia of our beliefs," said Schwartz.

In the Bible belt, that may be a hard sell.

"Do I respect that they're able to do that? Have to. Do I agree with them? No, I don't," said Cude.

Secular Life's founder said they've received a number of phone calls since the billboard was put up. He expects the interest will help Secular Life increase its' membership. The group is also seeking donations to help keep the billboard up longer.

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